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 Post subject: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:58 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 134
I own a Folbot Aleut and a 10' folding dinghy of similar style, skin over longitudinals on transverse frames. We live a few blocks from the beach, my wife likes to sunbathe, I don't. I have brought the Folbot down to paddle, not bad. I really bought it for travel, but it's bulky in two bags. I'm thinking of replacing the heavy bulky coated fabric skins of both of these boats with something lighter. I want a fabric that will remain supple, be thinner and lighter than what's there. I have a couple of sewing machines including a Sailrite. I'm thinking that it doesn't have to match exactly if I lace the top. I may practice with tarp material before spending on good quality cloth.
What would you use and why?


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:40 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1759
Location: Southeast Michigan
If it’s light and supple it’s not going to be as abrasion resistant as Hypalon. A few years ago I tested a heavily promoted lightweight boat with a urethane coated polyester hull- i thought it was a death trap.

The Aleut is a pretty light boat as it is. Maybe you could save 5 or even 10 pounds with a lightweight fabric, but that hardly seems worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:51 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 134
Thanks. If I could save 10# I would absolutely do it. Mine is an older model that may be heavier. I'm also more interested in skinning the bigger boat, where the weight difference would be significant. As is, the bag with the skin is very large and very heavy. On the WoodenBoat Forum I've had suggestions of nylon fabrics, some of which heat seal. I'm also considering Sur Last, as I have some on hand. I'll report my results if I experiment.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:50 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 539
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
DIYpackrafts.com is a good supplier of a range of quality vinyl coated fabrics for watercraft. Most of them are heat-sealable since he specializes in inflatables. You can use a Coverite Black Baron hobby iron to seal seams with those fabrics.

You might find useful information in Tom Yost's on-line instructions and patterns for making skin on frame and folding kayaks from scratch.

http://yostwerks.org

Cheap clear vinyl that you can get by the yard at places like Joann Fabrics (sign up to get their 50% off coupons first) can be used to skin frame boats and you could use that for a pattern run, then cut it apart to use for the final materials assembly. Or you can sacrifice the old skin by cutting it apart for a pattern.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:11 am 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 134
Thanks Kerry. I'll keep you all posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:39 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:10 pm
Posts: 79
Getting fabric from a packraft company may be tempting, but there is one potential problem. Inflatables may benefit from stretchy fabric, but folding kayaks do not. Many folding boats have fabric that is reinforced with polyester. That happens to be a fairly inexpensive substrate, but it is also much more stable dimentionally that nylon - which makes polyester much better material to work with. The specific coating is less important, but PVC may be the easiest (and least expensive) to work with. Good luck with your project.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Skin
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:24 am 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 134
Thank you for your input.


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